Aboriginal people, bush foods knowledge and products from central Australia: Ethical guidelines for commercial bush food research, industry and enterprises.

Aboriginal people, bush foods knowledge and products from central Australia: Ethical guidelines for commercial bush food research, industry and enterprises. Report

DKCRC Research Report

  • Author(s): Merne Altyerre-ipenhe Reference Group,, Douglas, J., Walsh, F.
  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre
  • Volume: 71

Abstract: The Merne Altyerre-ipenhe (Food from the Creation time) Reference Group (hereafter ‘Reference Group’) (Photo 2) comprises individuals from the major language groups across central Australia (Figure 1): MK Turner (Eastern Arrernte), Veronica Dobson (Eastern Arrernte), Lorna Wilson (Pitjantjatjara), Myra Ah Chee (Pitjantjatjara), Bess Price (Warlpiri), Gina Smith (Warumungu), Rayleen Brown (Ngangiwumirr/ Eastern Arrernte) and Maree Meredith (Central Land Council representative). A Central Land Council (CLC) representative was invited to be on the Reference Group as CLC is the peak statutory body for Aboriginal Land Trusts where harvesting takes place. We are the members of the Merne Altyerre-ipenhe (Food from the Creation time) Reference Group based in Alice Springs, central Australia. We see ourselves as expressing the interests of many Aboriginal people on lands to which we are connected, although we are not elected representatives. We do not speak for Aboriginal people elsewhere in other parts of Australia. The Australian bush foods industry is growing very quickly. We are concerned that many of the people involved know very little about custodial Aboriginal cultural rights, responsibilities and attachments to bush food plant species. Little is known of the complex knowledge systems Aboriginal people hold in relation to these bush foods, their harvest, preparation and trade. There has been little effective participation of the owners and custodians of the plants and knowledge which underpin the industry. We have come together to develop a set of guidelines to help those people with a commercial interest in bush foods – in both the research and industry sectors. These guidelines have been developed within the social and cultural context of central Australia. They may be able to be used to assist other Aboriginal groups around Australia in the development of their own best practice guidelines. They may also be applicable to bush medicines and other products from Aboriginal people and their lands.

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Merne Altyerre-ipenhe Reference Group,, Douglas, J., Walsh, F., 2011, Aboriginal people, bush foods knowledge and products from central Australia: Ethical guidelines for commercial bush food research, industry and enterprises., Volume:71, Report, viewed 10 December 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=5597.

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